Our prior belief of the brain as a static and unchanging organ is being replaced by a new understanding of the versatility of the brain throughout life. Brain plasticity, which involves changes occurring in our brain that allow us to learn and function in response to new experiences, happens not only early in life but also in adulthood, as well as in response to traumatic brain injury. Dr. Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus of neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco,... Topics: Groks, Groks science show, Brain plasticity, Michael Merzenich, Cognition
This episode we speak with neuroscientist Dr. Sliman Bensmaia. He tells us about his research on touch -- how our hands feel, how our brains process this information, and how this research is being used to design better prostheses. Topics: Groks, Groks science show, Sliman Bensmaia, Brain, Prosthetics
Trillions of subatomic particles called neutrinos are zipping through our bodies every second of every day. If that gave you goosebumps, don't worry because they're very shy and rarely interact with other matter- a property that makes them difficult to detect. Astrophysicist Dr. Ray Jayawardhana joins us today to discuss the hunt for neutrinos, the elusive elementary particle that brings news from distant stars and can help us understand the nature of antimatter. A tall order for a very small... Topics: Groks, neutrinos, Jayawardhana, groks science show, particle physics
David Kern discusses how the loss of one’s ability to smell can predict impending death. It may seem like an uncanny connection, but as it turns out, not completely surprising. We also talk about other ways that olfaction plays a role in our lives – our love lives that is, and how men and women may approach smell differently. Topics: Groks, Groks science show, David Kern, Olfaction, Smell
How much can our own genetics determine the diagnosis of our illness or determine the course of treatment? The Chicago chapter of the Women In Bio organization recently hosted a panel discussion on the topic of precision medicine strategies—what it is, how it came about, the challenges we face, and what the future holds. We attended the event, and spoke with organizers, attendees, and panelists about precision medicine, and women’s role in this rapidly developing field. Topics: Groks, Groks science show, precision medicine, Women in Bio
Dr. Palumbi talks about his book, The Extreme Life of the Sea, on the fastest, oldest, and smallest creatures that live in the coldest, hottest, and deepest parts of the ocean. Topics: Groks, Groks science show, Stephen Palumbi, Marine Biology, Marine Adaptations
The wide array of eye designs in the animal kingdom reflects the critical role that sight plays in the well-being of an animal. Today, ophthamologist Dr. Ivan Schwab tells us the story of eye evolution, beginning with the first photoreceptive compounds and taking us through some of the most interesting and strange eyes known. We'll also learn a bit about our own eyes, how they work, and how we compare to other animals. Topics: Groks, Groks Science Show, eye, evolution, Ivan Schwab
Video games are a huge part of the lives of countless kids and adults alike. In his book Console Wars, Blake Harris brings to life the behind-the-scenes story that most of us are not aware of—the epic battle waged in the early 1990s between Nintendo and Sega, which paved the way for the video game industry as we know it today. Topics: Groks, Groks science show, Video games, Sega, Nintendo, Blake Harris, Tom Kalinske
Today we talk with Dr. Steve Underwood of the Connected Vehicle Proving Center at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. With several car companies promising to release nearly self-driving cars in the next decade, it's a good time to discuss what these cars actually do and how they might benefit us. Dr. Underwood tells us about why we might want a self-driving car, the state of the industry, and what we can expect in the near future. Topics: groks, groks science show Self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicle proving center,... Source: Groks Science Radio Show and Podcast
Humans have wanted to know tomorrow's weather for as long as there have been todays. Only in the last few centuries, however, have we begun making mathematically sound attempts to forecast the weather. Dr. Ian Roulstone joins us to discuss his book, Invisible in the Storm: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather. We discuss the history of mathematics in weather forecasting, data assimilation, and the general applicability of those mathematics to other fields. Topics: Weather, Ian Roulstone, Groks Science Show, meteorology, climate, Invisible in the Storm, John...
Dr. Brad Gemmell gives us a glimpse into the secret predatory lives of seahorses, and describes how we are getting ideas from the anatomy of the jellyfish for designing vehicles for water and air travel, along with many other ways in which the wonderful world under the sea inspires and teaches us. Topics: Groks, Groks Science Show, Brad Gemmell, Marine Science, Seahorse, Jellyfish, Predation
Mind reading isn't something we have to worry about in our day-to-day lives but the day when we do have that worry may be closer than we think. Paul Root Wolpe joins us to discuss why we should develop legal and ethical frameworks for dealing with mind reading sooner rather than later. Topics: Groks, Groks Science Show, Groks Science Radio Show, Paul Root Wolpe, mind reading, fMRI
Several recent books walk the reader through human history by describing the history of specific objects or commodities such as salt, cod, coffee, and even the lowly toothpick. In today's episode, Tom Jackson joins us to discuss his new series of books, Ponderables. This series walks readers through history alongside the elements, the universe, and mathematics, with more to come. Topics: Groks, Groks Science Show, elements, universe, mathematics, history, Tom Jackson, Ponderables,...
Not many laboratories house mice in 3000 pounds of sand, but then not many labs research the burrowing habits of Peromyscus, either. Dr. Hopi Hoekstra joined us to talk about her recent Nature paper on the genetic basis of entrance and exit tunnels in oldfied and deer mice. Topics: Groks Science Show, Hoekstra, Hopi Hoekstra, oldfield mice, deer mice, peromyscus, nature, mice,...
Today, 85% of scientific articles are not published in open access journals. This means that unless you are part of an institution that subscribes to the journal you’re interested in, you’ll have to pay for the research studies you want to read. Our guests today, Dr. Patrick Brown and Dr. Michael Eisen, are part of a movement to promote free access to scientific literature. The two professors are co-founders of the Public Library of Science, which is a collection of open access journals. In... Topics: groks, open access, academic publishing, science, groks science show, PLoS, open access, public... Source: Groks Science Radio Show and Podcast